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London Sinfonietta - Birtwistle, Knussen, Saed Haddad, Benjamin, Ligeti

London Sinfonietta in Birtwistle: Carmen Arcadiae Mechanicae Perpetuum. Knussen: Songs without Voices. Haddad: In Contradiction. Benjamin: At First Light. Ligeti: Piano Concerto.

Pierre-Laurent Aimard and the London Sinfonietta, conducted by George Benjamin, play the Ligeti Piano Concerto.

Live from the Maltings, Snape

Harrison Birtwistle: Carmen Arcadiae Mechanicae Perpetuum
Oliver Knussen: Songs without Voices
Saed Haddad: In Contradiction for two cellos and ensemble (UK premiere)

8.15: Interval

George Benjamin: At First Light
Ligeti: Piano Concerto

Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano
London Sinfonietta
George Benjamin, conductor

Two heavyweight but luminous modern works are at the heart of the London Sinfonietta's collaboration with George Benjamin and Pierre-Laurent Aimard. Ligeti's Piano Concerto, now strongly associated with Aimard's recordings, is filled in its fast movements with pounding cross-rhythms and dizzying virtuosity, while its slow movement yields to a desolate, lamenting abyss that lurks below the composer's dazzling surface.
'Dazzling' is also the key to Benjamin's At First Light, an evocation inspired by Turner's painting Norham Castle, Sunrise of a landscape in which all detail is washed out by overpowering light. Birtwistle and Knussen's works are both titled as 'songs', but where Birtwistle's is a rhythmic moto perpetuo in the vein of Ligeti's concerto, Knussen's miniatures are highly lyrical. The UK premiere of Jordan-born Haddad's mini-concerto for two cellos and ensemble completes the programme.

Followed by a chance to hear highlights from a Cardiff Singer of the World Masterclass given last week by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

2 hours, 30 minutes

Music Played

  • Sir Harrison Birtwistle

    Carmen Arcadiae Mechanicae Perpetuum

    Orchestra: London Sinfonietta. Conductor: George Benjamin.
  • Oliver Knussen

    Songs without Voices

    Conductor: George Benjamin.
  • Saed Haddad

    In Contradiction for two cellos and ensemble (UK premiere)

    Conductor: George Benjamin.
  • George Benjamin & London Sinfonietta conducted by George Benjamin

    At First Light

  • Gy├Ârgy Ligeti

    Piano Concerto

    Conductor: George Benjamin.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Leben (Zaide)

    Singer: Kiri Te Kanawa. Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Colin Davis.
    • Philips.


New Music on Radio 3

New Music on Radio 3

A chance to listen to recent broadcasts of new music - including premieres - on Radio 3.